All in Food & Drink

Cooking With Sake - I

As much as sake is a delight to drink, it is even more perfect as an ingredient in cooking. This is the first in a three-part series outlining the benefits of cooking with sake, which kinds of sake to use, and the brewers and regions in Japan that are producing some of the most useful and interesting styles of sake for cooking. Cooking tips and recipes are included to illustrate sake’s versatility and deliciousness in cooking.

Tea Stand Gen

By sustainably farming a sencha green tea with a naturally unique flavor and serving it up at Tea Stand Gen, Genki Takahashi is reaffirming the important cultural role of green tea in Japan as a bond with nature and between people in addition to providing a soothing and healthy cup of tea.

Hakusen Shuzo's Hon-Mirin

An aromatic, beautiful, and delicious full-bodied alcohol made from rice, artisanal hon-mirin has an essential role in the pantheon of fermented Japanese seasonings by virtue of its flavor-extending umami and complex sweet-savory flavors created by the Maillard reaction. It is also a delicious and healthy liquor to drink.

Meitou's Handmade Koji

Trained by their blind grandfather to work by hand as much as by eye, the brothers Ryuhei and Yohei are making intensely rich, nutritious, and robust koji that cooks can use to easily make delicious miso and other fermented foods at home.

Okamoto Soy Sauce

One of the few remaining artisanal soy brewers on the western islands of the Seto Inland Sea, Okamoto makes a classic style of soy sauce that adds a touch of heartiness as well as a special taste-of-place flavor to the region’s traditionally light and ingredient-oriented home cooking.

The Torii Family of Sauces

At Torii Sauce, third generation artisanal sauce maker Daishi Torii is making a family of Japanese brown sauces that are not only essential to the Japanese pantry but, in many respects, are more delicious and useful in all kinds of cuisines than equivalent Western and Asian brown sauces.

Soy Sauce 醤油

Japanese soy sauce’s powerful role in all kinds of cooking as a pure concentrated form of plant-based umami seasoning is being underpinned by a new generation of high quality, all-natural, artisanal soy sauces that come in a range of styles and a wide variety of nuanced flavors.

Yamaroku Soy Sauce

A fifth generation soy sauce brewer and master builder of the large wooden barrels (kioke) traditionally used in Japan to ferment foods, Yasuo Yamamoto is proving the flavor benefits of the kioke barrels by the deep, dark, overwhelming savoriness of the classic style of soy sauce that he is making with them at Yamaroku Soy Sauce.

Namihanado Sea Salt

In a modernistic salt house on Shodoshima Island, Toshiki Kaba has skillfully adapted Japan’s traditional ryuka-shiki-enden salt-making method to produce a light, sweet-tasting Seto Inland Sea salt. The salt is contributing to the island’s revival as a regional food center as well as supporting a new life for himself and his family.

Mirasaka Fromage

By making all grass-fed, artisanal cow and goat cheeses in the highlands of western Japan, Mirasaka Fromage is adding deliciously light and uniquely-flavored cheeses to Japan’s pantry of fermented foods and is also helping to preserve the area's rural way of life by adhering to the ancient, sustainable, and ethical way of using the land by mountain grazing its dairy animals.

Tanakaya Soy Sauce

By creatively brewing soy sauce according to traditional methods, Kazuo Tanaka is making an elegant new style of rich-tasting yet light-bodied artisanal soy sauce that can deliciously season all kinds of foods and cuisines.

Citrus 柑橘系

Japan's citrus farmers, cooks, and craft food makers are renewing citrus’ role as one of Japan's most important foods and seasonings by introducing new types of fruit, expanding citrus’ use in cooking and eating, and creating a seemingly endless array of delicious and ingenious citrus-based food products.

Hamamori no Moshio

Made by a slow, natural, and sustainable process, the jewel-like crystals of Hamamori no Moshio seaweed salt are a masterful blend of bright mineral salt from Sea of Japan waters and mellow savory kajime seaweed, a local konbu rich in umami.

Amabito no Moshio

The first revival in Japan of harvesting salt based on the ancient methods of the "amabito," or sea people, Amabito no Moshio is a flavorful and nutritious seaweed salt designed for modern everyday use.